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Living The Dream | Living the Dream

Following His Heart

Dr. J. Alberto Espinosa, PhD Carnegie Mellon University

In 1983, Dr. J. Alberto Espinosa decided to get his Ph.D. in finance from Texas Tech University. After a year in the program, he realized that he was more interested in information systems than in finance.

Because Ph.D. studies require such a strong time commitment, he decided to enter the work force to gain  more practical experience in IS. He worked in a number of capacities at international nonprofit organizations, including Director of Management Information Systems and Chief Financial Officer.

However, his brief experience in a Ph.D. program had left him with a taste for research and teaching that never went away.

After a few years as a senior manager, Dr. Espinosa decided it was time to return to school and do what his heart was telling him to do. “I really love research and teaching. I could not get it out of my system, so I knew I had to return to school and finish my studies.”

So, fourteen years after beginning his doctoral work, he went back to school to complete his Ph.D., but this time in information systems.

He joined The PhD Project’s Doctoral Students Association. “I found an excellent peer group and outstanding faculty in The PhD Project, eager to provide us with guidance and mentorship. These were key to helping me define my career goals, prepare for the job market, and make the  correct placement decisions,” he says.

Dr. Espinosa brings a lot of his work experience into the classroom and has guided many students to career choices in IS. He also won a student teaching award from Carnegie Mellon. “A few of my students tell me they changed career paths to IS because of what they learned in my class. That makes it all worthwhile.”

The dream continues…

Dr. Espinosa was granted tenure and promoted to Associate Professor in 2008 and since then has been promoted to Full Professor. His work has been published in leading journals including: Management Science; Organization Science; the Journal of Management Information Systems; Communications of the ACM; Information, Technology, and People; and Software Process: Improvement and Practice. His work has also been published in leading academic conference proceedings, and he is a frequent presenter in those conferences.

Dr.   Headshot

Dr. J. Alberto Espinosa

American University

PhD Carnegie Mellon University